July 7, 2009

Over the 4th of July holiday, I remembered a news item from the last days of June. Seattle’s historic federal courthouse was rededicated after a three-year renovation. In 2001 the courthouse was renamed in honor of William Kenzo Nakamura, a Nisei war hero. Nakamura volunteered for service from Minidoka incarceration camp. He was killed on July 4, 1944, while drawing enemy machine gun fire to protect his platoon. His Distinguished Service Cross (second highest military honor) was upgraded to a Medal of Honor (highest military recognition) by Bill Clinton in 2001.

This column recounts some of the momentous episodes in the courthouse’s history. The writer agrees with us that the William Kenzo Nakamura Courthouse is aptly named for a national hero.